cPanel FAQs
Tutorials and How To Guides

Using the CGI Center

Common Gateway Interface

Updated: January 25, 2021
By: RSH Web Editorial Staff
cpanel CGI faq

How to use the CGI Center

CGI (an abbreviation of Common Gateway Interface) is a specification for transferring information between a World Wide Web server and a CGI program. A CGI program is any program designed to accept and return data that conforms to the CGI specification. CGI programs are the most common way for Web servers to interact dynamically with users

The following pre-installed CGI scripts are available in cPanel:


The CGI wrapper will allow you to run CGI scripts with your user ID

You will need to place the CGI Scripts that you want to run with your userid in the directory /home/cpanelusername/public_html/cgi-bin. Once done, your scripts will be available at

'cpanelusername' and '' should be replaced with the actual cPanel username and primary domain associated with your hosting package

Random HTML Generator

The random HTML generator picks a string of HTML code from a list and inserts it into an SSI (Server Side Includes) enabled web page

Put your HTML snippets in the box and click on Save. You can find an example below


Now you need to access cPanel > File Manager > public_html and create .shtm or .shtml file


Once created, open the file and paste the aforementioned tag in it


For example we added a fixed plain text to highlight the random html snippets on the page. Now we open and refresh the page few times. We can see different results:



In this menu you can create a counter, clock or date box to display on your website (Counter functionality might not be working correctly on our shared servers)


Check on Preview and if everything looks alright click on html and copy the code into your html file

Once copied and saved, open the page in the browser to see the script working

CGI Email

With this option you can create a simple Contact Form that will send you emails from your website:

1. Click on CGI Email. You will be redirected to the user guide and in the meantime cPanel will automatically create two important files in cgi-bin folder - cgiecho and cgiemail

2. Create an email template in your public_html folder, for example lets create email.txt


From: should be local email address – the one created in cPanel (with your domain using our hosting mail service), otherwise, the server will reject the email in order to prevent spamming activitiy

To: can be any address you want to receive these emails to and reply from

Values in brackets will be pulled from the form visitor submits

3. Create your html page:


Here you can change questions and Input values (do not forget to change them in your email.txt as well)

If you change the action url from to

the email will not be sent, but you will see if the submission is successful – so-called debug (test) mode

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